There was a lower turnout for the Club Championships at Greeba on Sunday than had been hoped, with no entries into the Barebow or Longbow categories. However, nine archers did make it to the shooting line to compete in a WA 1440 (36 arrows at each of four distances -90/70/50/30m/for the Gents, 70/60/50/30m for the Ladies) to decide this year’s winners of the Recurve and Compound titles.
Most archers view the Club Championships as a bit of a marathon, but this year’s event turned into something akin to a sprint. With a weather front moving in from the west, heavy rain was scheduled to hit Greeba, the only question was – when? Most of the forecasts had the storm front hitting the island at about 2pm. The Records Officer, who is responsible for organizing the shoot, gave the competitors notice that the break times between distances would be shortened, and the traditional hour long lunchbreak would be cut out, in the hopes that the Championships would be done and dusted before the weather closed in. Things did not quite go to plan, with the archers getting lightly drenched at about 11:30. The cloudburst was short lived and as the temperature remained high things dried out very quickly.
In the Gents Compound division, Rhys Moore was hoping to defend his title and take his Championship winning streak to five in a row. Billy Lightfoot, who had lost to Rhys by a single point the last time they shot, was hoping to stop him. Pete Mumford was also in the mix in full on relaxed mode, which is when he is at his most dangerous. Dave Moore, nursing an injury, was just hoping to make it to the end of the shoot. It was not to be Dave’s day. Not only did he get wet, but an unrestrained golden retriever invaded the field while the archers were at the bosses collecting their arrows and promptly helped itself to the sandwiches in Dave’s food bag. A large ham and hot mustard bap was lost before the dog was dragged off by his apologetic owner. The pace of the shoot also meant that Dave had very little recovery time, so that mid-way through the third distance the injury forced him to stop. Pete Mumford, powered by Eccles cakes and tea so weak it looked like water bewitched, notched up a season’s best score that was 20 points higher than the score he posted in last year’s Championships. Unfortunately, it was only good enough for third place. Billy Lightfoot made a good start, but Rhys showed no signs of the struggle he has had with 90m so far this season and gave himself a 24 point lead by the end of the first distance. Billy put in consistently good dozen totals at 70m but Rhys was just that little bit better and extended his lead further. Rhys then out shot Billy at 50m to carry a 28 point lead into the final distance. Billy managed to claw back 5 points but it wasn’t nearly enough and he had to settle for a season’s best score and second place. Rhys, confident of victory, lost focus a little at 30m but still posted a season’s best score to retain his title.
In the Ladies Compound, Joy Gough found herself unopposed once again, but she maintained her focus and posted a score that was some 40 points higher than any she had shot during the season and she was justifiably pleased.
It was a straight face-off between Dave Berry and Danny Cowin in the Gents Recurve. Danny armed with newly re-furbished arrows and looking like something the cat dragged in, found his range immediately and broke 200 at the 90m distance for the first time this year. The shortened break times played into Danny’s shooting style as it gave him less thinking time-the less Danny tries to use his brain the better. With arrows that were flying true, Danny’s form improved as the day went on and he posted a season’s best score to claim an emphatic victory and retain his title. Dave Berry on other hand had a nightmare shoot. Eight misses at 90m set the seal on a disappointing day, further misses at both 70 and 50m saw him finish well off the pace.
Jane Berry and Barbara Harris were joined in the Ladies Recurve by Tilly Ashton. Tilly was attempting the round for the first time; the distances being well above her age group. Tilly did well over the 70 and 60m, but a week of work experience took its toll and she had to retire at the end of the 50m. This left Jane and Barbara in the running. Both women shot solidly at 70m, with Harris edging a lead. Jane put in a good performance at the second distance, but 60m is Barbara’s favourite and it showed as she opened up a 40 point lead. This became a 94 point lead as Jane had a miserable time at 50m (her least favourite distance). Barbara put in one of her best distance totals of the season at 30m to retain her title for another year. Jane finished strongly but was disappointed to fall short of the target she had set herself. There was no further rain and the field was tidied and clear by 3 o’clock. Congratulations to all the Champions.
Results: Senior Club Championships- Gents Compound-1.R.Moore 144/1321/63/23sb, 2.B.Lightfoot 144/1298/51/18sb, 3.P.Mumford 144/1246/40/12. Ladies Compound-J.Gough 143/1267/40/10sb. Gents Recurve-1.D.Cowin 142/1024/7/1sb, 2.D.Berry 132/782/8/3. Ladies Recurve-1.B.Harris 143/1134/20/3, 2.J.Berry 144/985/11/3.